Tex Appeal September 2016 *

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Vive Les Arts

An extended theatrical family Story by MANDY SHELTON File and contributed photos


hen the Vive Les Arts Societe began looking for a new leader, it seemed as though Traci Tipping had been rehearsing for the role since birth. A dancer since age 3, she had already appeared in a few VLA shows — notably “Beehive” in 2000, photos of which can be seen in the theater’s lobby during intermissions. “Her name came up and it just seemed to be a perfect fit,” said Bary Heidtbrink,

who along with his wife, Summer, serves as chairperson of the VLA board. “She’s really taken the ball and run with it while she’s been here.” In her two years as executive director of Vive Les Arts Theatre, Tipping has created a work family that is almost as established in the community as her birth family. “I’m from Killeen. I’ve been here my whole life,” said Tipping, a fifth-generation Killeenite and seventh-generation Texan. “I would not be anywhere without my family.” Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM